The ability to accurately and automatically read words with no conscious attention or effort so that focus is on comprehension. For example, when you see the word THIS you know it and don’t have to break it down into individual parts to figure out the word.

Cue Cards or Flash Cards

A key role of teaching assistants (TA) is to support the class teacher as well as the students. Under the direction of the teacher a TA may offer practice opportunities for students who learn more slowly. Cards are often helpful to teach important words to non-readers.

Cue cards or Flash cards help students repeat activities to help them remember words. Cards are often used to teach new words, especially “survival” words. There words that a student needs to recognize whether or not she has learned the “mechanics” of reading and word structures.

For example, twelve year old student with an Intellectual Disability such as Down Syndrome may not have learned to read yet, but must identify the words on the restroom doors in order to know which to use. Cue or flash cards are shown to the student to help her memorize and thus recognize the correct word and which word is not the bathroom door she wants to enter. Cards are presented 1 or 2 at a time until learned, then a new card is added.